As parents, we share the same concerns about the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, and the impact it will have on our families. Here at KiwiCo, we asked our team to work from home. Many of us have children who will be home with us for the foreseeable future due to school closures.
We know a lot of you are also trying to find a new normal, including keeping your kids busy at home. So today, we’re launching a resource hub for parents to help support learning at home, with loads of stay-at-home educational activities for every age, tips from teachers on effective remote learning, and kid-friendly content that connects science with their daily lives. To start with, we’re bringing you an explanation of the science of handwashing, to help kids understand why it’s so important. We’re going to be adding new content and resources to the hub regularly. We’ll also be switching up our newsletter to bring you helpful resources more frequently, and you can follow us on Instagram for daily updates.
Please take care of yourself, and reach out if we can help. We’re here to support you and your family during this time. We’re in this together.
We want every child who opens a KiwiCo crate to light up with excitement for the new adventures and activities ahead. That’s why each of our products undergoes a unique design journey and are tested by kid experts before they’re delivered to your door. We know we’ve created something really exciting when we hear the words, “whoa, awesome!” echo across our office. This reaction has become a litmus test for everything we do, and it’s our goal to spark the same excitement in your home. The KiwiCo community plays a huge role in the success of our products, so we want to give you an inside look at how each crate is designed to deliver “whoa, awesome!” moments.
Brainstorming: Searching for Eureka!
Eureka is not only the name of one of our crate lines (you can check it out here), but it’s also the phrase that really sums up the first goal in our design process. Before we start building, our product designers meet to come up with concepts during the brainstorming phase. They play with ideas until they have a eureka moment (aka the triumph of discovery). But not every “good idea” goes beyond the brainstorming phase. In order for it to be built, an idea has to inspire awe in a way that is uniquely KiwiCo.
When brainstorming ideas for a biology-focused product, the designers dove into the nostalgia of frog dissection. This is an educational milestone that is both incredibly enriching… and gross (and stinky! Will you ever forget the smell of formaldehyde??) In a very creative eureka moment, one of the product designers pitched the idea to reimagine this interactive learning experience by making it more approachable (i.e. “cuter”). And thus, Froggie Lab Dissection was born!
Prototyping: Trying & Trying Again
Our product designers are experts when it comes to learning from failure especially during the prototyping phase. This is when the product designers build the products. Most of the time, original concepts don’t look or work as planned. And that’s a good thing because, oftentimes, the small changes product designers make along the way lead to big innovation!
Froggie went through a lot of iterations before it evolved into a dissectable plush. The product designer originally thought to make the frog flat, but after a few attempts, she amped up the fluff! Different materials and colors were also tested for the organs to make sure they were anatomically correct but also cute!
Testing: Making “Whoa, Awesome!” Moments
Kids are at the core of our testing phase. We invite kids of all ages to test out all our products before they launch. Kids make great product testers because, as parents know all too well, they are always brutally honest. Our tiny testers tell us what they think of a product at a few different stages. They help the product designers decide what materials to use and how best to approach the building part of the crate projects. They share feedback with the KiwiCo Editorial and Graphic Design Teams which create exciting and enriching content to pair with products! Once all the crate elements are combined, we do a final kid test, and that’s when the “whoa, awesome!” moments are made!
Our kid testers helped us understand how to make Froggie more huggable by using softer materials. We also switched from velcro to buttons to unveil and close its belly. To make the crate a more enriching learning experience, the editorial team helped come up with a game to explain the anatomy of a frog!
We’d love to see your kids’ “whoa, awesome!” moments! Share photos and videos on Instagram and tag us at @kiwico_inc. Don’t forget to include #kiwico!
From radical robots to astounding animation and colorful chemistry, the wonder of science is all around us!
At KiwiCo, we want to inspire kids to find “whoa, awesome!” moments in their everyday lives. We collected activities, videos, and KiwiCo crates that help make popular science subjects more relatable and exciting for your kids!
Fun with Flight
There’s a lot to learn about massive metal machines that seemingly fly through the air with ease. Help your kids understand the foundations of flight with these awesome videos, projects, and activities!
Build and launch a pair of model orbiter spaceships using the power of pumps. Paint a set of model planets, then construct a miniature solar system that really spins. Explore the ins-and-outs of space travel — from the history of space exploration, to the challenges of astronaut training, to amazing facts about life on the International Space Station!
Stop motion animation is animation that is captured one frame at time, with objects that are moved between frames. When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. Learn how to use this technique to make a fun stop action movie!
On day four of Koala Camp, your little one will learn the ins and out of scientific method and why measuring is good science. Then together you can try some hands-on experiments with ingredients from home.
Experience science that’s out of this world! Discover what stars are made of, explore the brilliant stories behind constellations, and learn how to find the North Star on day five of Tinker Camp during Camp KiwiCo!
Give your body (and your brain!) a workout with the science of sports! On day 5 of Kiwi Camp during Camp KiwiCo, kids will learn how muscles help them move and build a model arm (complete with rubber-band muscles)!
Build a disk launcher and explore physics by sending disks zooming across the room! After you make your flying toys, design your own game pieces using different clay techniques, and play and create games using your disk launcher!
We’re surrounded by waves! Sound and light travel as waves to our ears and eyes. Ocean waves crash onto the beach. Radio waves broadcast music to our cars. We even use waves to cook our food – in microwaves! Try making this wave machine to see how all different kinds of waves move!
We’d love to see your kids’ “woah, awesome!” moments! Share photos and videos on Instagram and tag us at @kiwico_inc. Don’t forget to include #kiwico!
You may have seen the phrase “Whoa, awesome!” in our emails or on the KiwiCo website, and that’s because “Whoa, awesome!” is at the heart of everything we do!
At KiwiCo, we know we’re on the right track when we hear the words “Whoa, awesome!” shouted from the product testing room in our Northern California office—usually followed by the sound of scurrying little feet as kid testers run to check out the excitement. The wide-eyed magic of “Whoa, awesome!” is essential to the KiwiCo story, so we wanted to share its meaning with you.
“It’s that moment—when the robot walks, the rocket launches, the heart beats in the stethoscope. It’s the wonder in each crate that inspires a lifetime of curiosity.” —Sandra Oh Lin, KiwiCo Founder & CEO
Kids are pint-sized philosophers. They’re constantly searching for answers to questions that might stump even the brightest of minds: “Why is the sky blue?”; “Can I think myself happy?”; “Why do humans have foreheads?”. (Scientists are still searching for the answer to that last one.) Every child is born with a sense of wonder, but inspiration is required to ignite curiosity, comprehension, and finally, wisdom and knowledge.
We believe that small creative experiences today help prepare kids to face bigger challenges in the future and that those special “Whoa, awesome!” moments can inspire them to better understand the world around them. As the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” We couldn’t agree more—and that’s exactly why all the products we create at KiwiCo are designed with wonder in mind.
A window garden can blossom into discoveries about how plants grow.
We deliver a dose of “Whoa, awesome!” with every crate we ship in the hope of providing the next generation of innovators with the skills and confidence to become creative problem-solvers. And since KiwiCo grows with your child, we can continue to help build their sense of wonder into a lifetime of curiosity.
We’d love to see your kids’ “Whoa, awesome!” moments! Share photos and videos on Instagram and tag us at @kiwico_inc. Don’t forget to include #kiwico!
This summer is all about sparking a sense of wonder and adventure at home!
‘Tis the season for active imaginations and adventure! Just because this summer is shaping up to be a little different doesn’t mean you can’t create ‘whoa, awesome’ moments for your family. At KiwiCo, we believe that these small moments of wonder unlock lifelong curiosity and learning. And that’s why we’re always searching for activities that inspire both excitement and innovation!
To keep your kids saying, “whoa, awesome!” all summer long, we recommend making a bucket list! We collected some of our favorite activities, adventures, and DIYs for kids of all ages to help you get started. Take a look at these activities and create your family’s 2020 Summer Bucket List.
At-Home Adventures & Experiments
Take your family on an imagination vacation with these creative activities and adventures!
When it is too hot to go outside or you want to escape for a little while to an alternate reality – a good book can deliver on all those things. Great reading requires great books! This Summer Reading List compiled by the editors at KiwiCo includes great books for all ages. Our editors review hundreds of books to which we send as part of our Deluxe subscription. (PSA: you can upgrade your subscription – for any line except Maker and Eureka – and get a book delivered every month selected to complement that month’s crate theme!).
Join us at Camp KiwiCo!
We invite you and your kids to join us for a fun-filled enriching summertime experience filled with discovery and delight! Camp KiwiCo offers four different sessions – Koala Camp, Kiwi Camp, Atlas Camp, and Tinker Camp – geared for different age groups. Each session is made up of five days that are jam-packed with free content. Each day of camp comes with a science theme that is explored through videos, printables, experiments, hands-on projects, and creative challenges. Camp KiwiCo is designed so that you can choose your own adventure and timeline. You can follow the schedule we created and do all five days back-to-back or you can spread the fun throughout the summer!
For more ideas for your Whoa Awesome summer or to subscribe to our crates, visit us at KiwiCo.com.
As we know, summer is shaping up to be quite a bit different than we all imagined. When the team at KiwiCo realized that many of the summer plans we had made to fill our kids’ days were cancelled, the team rallied to put together an in-depth at-home summer camp–filled with awesome activities and projects to spark innovation, creativity, and joy.
Welcome to Camp KiwiCo! We invite you and your kids to join us for a fun-filled enriching summer time experience filled with discovery and delight! Camp KiwiCooffers four different sessions – Koala Camp, Kiwi Camp, Atlas Camp, andTinker Camp– geared for a different age group. Each session is made up of five days that are jam-packed with free content. Each day of camp comes with a science theme that is explored through videos, printables, experiments, hands-on projects, and creative challenges. Camp KiwiCo is designed so that you can choose your own adventure and timeline. You can follow the schedule we created and do all five days back-to-back or you can spread the fun throughout the summer!
When you think of an arcade, your first thought is probably of a room with glowing video game screens. But arcades didn’t start out as high-tech amusements. There’s an amazing amount of inventiveness and fun you can create…no computers or even electricity required.
Try your hand at building these DIY arcade games from materials around your house!
Based on the classic arcade game Whac-A-Mole, this Whack-A-Groundhog game involves quickly and repeatedly hitting the heads of groundhogs with a mallet as they pop up from holes. The quarters serve as weights to keep your groundhogs popping up even after you whack ‘em down!
Celebrate July 4th with these awesome summer crafts and activities for the whole family. Brighten your home with red, white, and blue stars and stripes! Create your own games to play outdoors! Get ready to have some serious fun!
Summer traveling may be postponed this year but you can still take your kids on an adventure around the world without leaving home! Our Atlas Crate projects are designed as immersive experiences to help kids learn about other countries and cultures, in a super fun way!
Every month, our team of Atlas Crate editors and product designers researches a different country studying architectural icons, natural wonders, geography, local recipes, and cultural traditions. Then they design each crate to include innovative, hands-on building projects, as well as games and fun facts that connect kids to inspiring new places and people. With crates spanning all seven continents, the result is an awesome adventure that brings kids around the globe!
Over the years, we’ve been delighted to see how Atlas Crate has inspired a community of curious, creative, travelers who love to learn and explore new things!
But don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what KiwiCo kids have to say:
“The kids have been impatiently stalking the front porch for our newest Kiwico crate delivery. We signed up for the Atlas crate and it finally arrived today! They spent the last couple hours building a spinning globe, creating an adventure book and learning all about the seven continents. A fun way to travel while being stuck at home. As always we will be looking forward to our next box 🌍✈️”
“Even though our traveling is temporarily paused, (thanks Covid-19,) we can still learn about other places. We love how Atlas Crates ( by @kiwico_inc ) teach geography, culture, regional animal facts, and so much more. This month our crate was all about France. The crafts were fun, but our favorite part was the gougères recipe. It was easy, totally kid friendly, and made delicious cheese and egg puffs.
We might be a little stuck right now, but we felt very French while eating these gougères.If you’re bored, stir-crazy, or are looking for a way to supplement your kid’s learning, Kiwi crates are a great resource.”
“Konnichiwa! This week we are learning about Japan! On Wednesdays, Hunter typically has Go, go geo after school with Miss Barb. He loves this program and has learned about our state, the capital, and taken “trips” around the world.We learned how to say hello to friend in Japanese, “Yaho”, we learned how to say thank you “arigatou” and then we got a little exercise in with some karate moves before decorating a Daruma to play Daruma Otoshi. Next we will make a Koimobori, a flying carp windsock!”
“They loved their #atlascrate from #kiwico we had fun putting this together and learned a lot about the countries around the world! They even learned how to read latitude and longitude!”
Start your at-home adventure with a peek inside some of our Atlas Crates:
Explore Russia: Build a St. Basil’s Cathedral storage box, and play a miniature game of gorodki.
Explore Guatemala: Craft a pair of muñecas quitapenas dolls, inspired by Mayan culture. Construct and play with a wooden top and launcher set. Meet the turtles of Monterrico, and learn all about their turtle hurdles. Build a mini barrilete gigante kite and experience the Guatemalan kite festivals. Then mix some masa harina, and make your own fresh-cooked tortillas.
Explore Canada: Create a snow globe inspired by the Canadian wilderness! Build and play a miniature hockey game, and test your luck with a zooming puck. Experience the caves and critters of Banff National Park. Explore the culture of indigenous Canadians by constructing your own inuksuk.
Explore India:Play Snakes & Ladders, a board game that’s over 2,000 years old. Mix up some homemade henna and try your hand at some mehndi designs. Learn about yoga and then strike your best cobra. Wash it all down with a cool glass of mango lassi you made yourself!
To further spark your kid’s sense of adventure and curiosity, consider a subscription to Atlas Crate. Atlas Crate is designed as an immersive experience to help children grow their understanding of communities and customs around the world.
For more global fun this summer, join our Atlas session at Camp KiwiCo where you will find FREE hands-on activities, videos, printables, and content about different places around the world.
Traveling to other places is one of the best ways for kids to develop an appreciation for other cultures, and to grow their understanding for communities and customs beyond those that they’ve experienced in their daily lives. This summer, big family trips might be postponed, but there are still many ways to share new and different cultural experiences with your kids without getting on a plane.
Even without leaving your own home, you can help your kids engage in immersive, hands-on experiences that creatively connect them with unfamiliar lands and people. Every month, our team of Atlas Crate editors and product designers research different countries around the world; studying fun facts, local games, impressive architecture, natural wonders, food traditions, and stunning places to visit.
To start your virtual trip, you’ll want to first choose a place to visit. Starting with one place will give focus to your research. Our editors choose locations with the intention of traveling on every continent. When you think about which country you’d like to explore, do you have a family member, friend, or former neighbor who lives in a different country? Whichever country you end up selecting, take the time to fully explore it.
We are excited to help you and your kids explore the globe—because taking the time to meet the people and places around us is a beautiful adventure.
Visit the Seven Wonders of the World (and More), Virtually
Amazing virtual tours exist for many of the world’s “bucket list” destinations. You can visit Macchu Pichu, take a walking tour of Italy’s iconic sites, marvel at the Taj Mahal, or explore the ancient city Petra, Jordan, all in an afternoon. Try googling “virtual tour” for your chosen destination — you may be amazed at what you can experience without needing to find your passport!
Take a Kid-Friendly Museum Tour
So many amazing institutions, from the Louvre to LACMA, have brought their collections online! On a virtual museum tour, your kids can see paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts in different collections around the world. Here is our list of 15 institutions that offer awesome virtual museum tours that kids will especially love.
Read Books About Other Countries
There are so many wonderful travel books for kids! Depending on your child’s age and interest, you might send them on a voyage via a destination guide or an inspirational travel story, a folktale or a photography book. Plus, there are all kinds of travel-focused activity books that can help keep kids learning. To start, you might check out a few of our favorites, like Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid; and the Lonely Planet Kids Travel Series. For a full list of kid-friendly travel books, check out this list from the popular family travel blog Full Suitcase.
Host a Geography Bee
Inspired by National Geographic’s Geo Bee, create a game that teaches world geography, then invite your friends to compete over a video call! To write the questions, you’ll want to start by selecting three countries to research. Divide the participants into teams, and have each team research five to ten facts about each country. Have one person from each team ask the members of the other teams the questions. [Do people buzz in? Write down their answers?] The team that answers the most questions correctly wins!
Listen to Music from Other Countries
Exploring different types of music can help kids connect with different cultures and help them feel more connected to one another! Putumayo Kids has become a beloved source of international music for children offering a wide selection of world music to families.
Learn a Dance
If listening to all that music makes you want to dance, find a virtual dance studio in the country of your choice. The Alvin Ailey Dance Studio offers online dance classes from Ballet to Afro-Brazilian, Samba and beyond.
Stamp collecting may seem like your grandparent’s hobby, but it’s actually a really cool way to learn about countries around the world (bonus: it could be a great way to connect with a grandparent too!). Since each country will usually have stamps that represent the things that make it special–famous leaders, legendary entertainers, iconic animals, and key historical figures and events– stamp collecting is both interesting and educational. You can find a huge selection of stamps from a variety of countries at Mystic Stamp Company.
Make a Travel Journal
Make a travel journal of places you’ve visited and want to go! Print photos, clip magazine images and fill the journals with vibrant collages of cool international stuff (ticket stubs and travel passes from past trips are fun to include.) For an online version, use Google Earth to draw maps, add your own images and collaborate with others.
Learn a Few Phrases in a New Language
Learning just a few words of a different language can be super-fun. Set a few easy goals (like learning how to introduce yourself to a new friend) for tangible results. You can find many online resources and apps to help you do just that: Duolingo includes bite-sized language lessons that make learning fun!
Connect with Pals Across the Globe
Send letters to pen pals all over the world! If you have family or friends in other countries, start a snail mail pen pal correspondence. But if you don’t, Snail Mail Pen Pals allows you to connect with new friends around the globe. Children International allows people to become pen pals with children living in difficult economic circumstances, and to sponsor them to help pay for education and other necessities.
Cook with Your Kids
To taste a country is to immerse yourself in it. There are so many fantastic cookbooks by expert chefs and home cooks around the globe. The kid-friendly cookbook Cooking Class Global Feast features recipes from different cultures. For more advanced cooks looking for titles about each different kind of cuisines check out Omnivore Books. They’ve got a terrific selection of cookbooks for kids and adults alike.
Subscribe to Atlas Crate
To further spark your kid’s sense of adventure and curiosity, consider a subscription to Atlas Crate. Atlas Crate is designed as an immersive experience to help children grow their understanding of communities and customs around the world. We also value the importance of using STEAM concepts as the building blocks for our crates to encourage hands-on, play-based learning.
For more global fun this summer, join our Atlas session at Camp KiwiCo where you will find FREE hands-on activities, videos, printables, and content about different places around the world.
It’s almost Father’s Day and time to appreciate all the special people who’ve played a fatherly role in our lives. With a little time and effort, you can make Father’s Day more meaningful with awesome homemade gifts and activities. As we know, Father’s Day might look different this year —which is all the more reason to spend some quality time with him. Here is a list of homemade DIYs and activities that are perfect for doing just that. We hope you’ll be inspired by one of these projects— because no matter what you do, creating great memories together will last a lifetime.
DIY Gifts for Dad
Upcycle ordinary materials into extraordinary gifts!
Make this DIY picture frame and fill it with a special photo for Dad to enjoy on his desk. Your kids will enjoy ripping lots of pages out of magazines and then cutting them all into strips. By then end of this project, they will have mastered the joy of rolled paper craft and have something wonderful to show for it.
Make this DIY catapult that doubles as a desk toy. (It’s easy to build from common office supplies!) Now, when Dad takes a break to launch a few pom-poms from his DIY catapult, he will think of you. Or better yet, maybe you can launch some pom-poms, too, and turn it into a contest!
For the dad who loves music, make this cool DIY Guitar using a plastic bottle. In the process of assembling this guitar, you will learn how to tie a series of useful knots. Once you master the knots, the building process only takes 2-3 minutes. Rock on!
For an indoor athletic activity, play a game of balloon tennis! Make simple racquets out of paper plates and craft sticks, blow up some balloons, and get ready for a round of friendly balloon tennis. Let the games begin!
For a super fun gift, create this physics-friendly basketball catapult. Aim, shoot, and score! Engineer an adjustable catapult and challenge your dad to a spirited game of basketball as you both learn about the science of sports.
Spend Father’s Day playing with fire! With the Fire Lab crate you will create a colorful flame lamp and complete seven different combustion experiments that explore the chemistry of oxidation, the flame test, and light energy.
A pack of KiwiCo crates or subscription to one of our lines is a journey of learning and exploration through the summer. We have crates for every age and interest!